WSJ Crossword 12-31-20 Contest Answer

I tried and lost with this one. The title of the puzzle is The Party Starts at 10. That was supposed to help me, I thought. It hasn’t as of writing this, but that could change partway through. Who knows!

My first instinct was that the answers would start with IO. Because IO looks like 10.

That didn’t go very far because it was immediately and very obviously wrong.

Then I started looking a a phrase that started with the answer to 10D. Nope.

Then I started noticing a trend. TEN was written out in the grid!

There’s no way that’s a coincidence.

I looked for COUNTDOWN because DOWN was under the TEN in the SE corner. No dice. I stared at this for way too long. I also thought of RING IN THE NEW YEAR, but that’s five words, so nope!

Got up. Did other stuff. Came back. Nothing.

Then I realized it’s AT 10.

This, too, provided no help.

I went back into the archives of the puzzle to see if there was a trend I was missing.

Shifting these repeating words to reveal new words did nil.

I remembered that the longest clues were each 10 letters long, so I highlighted those and overlaid the TENs I’d found.


So it was back to AT 10!

Maybe the words were missing a T? Or were in some pattern?

Frustrated, I then went back to the long answers, and after much staring and looking for things, I came up with something stupid.


But where’s the year?

Submitted it because why not.

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About raabidfun

I'm a guy living the #raabidfun lifestyle. I figured I would create a blog about crossword puzzles I do. The idea is to do the NYT crossword and the WSJ crossword daily as much as I can. That includes when I don't finish and have clearly failed. They can be difficult. Also I am not an attorney, and any legal analysis in this blog reflects my interpretation, which means it can be flawed and should not be relied upon for use in legal matters (especially against me).

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